January 18, 2019 / 11:16 PM / 3 months ago

Fed's Brainard sees mounting negative risks for U.S. economy

Federal Reserve Board Governor Lael Brainard speaks at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S., March 1, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

(Reuters) - Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard on Friday became the latest U.S. central banker to worry publicly about rising risks for the U.S. economy, suggesting she could embrace a pause on raising interest rates that has won support among most of her peers.

Uncertainty — over how long the partial government shutdown will last, the outlook for trade with China, and the fate of Britain’s relationship with the rest of Europe — is creating negative risks, Brainard said in a Marketplace radio interview, despite a labor market she said was currently “extremely” strong.

“We are not seeing as much risks out there that would be a positive surprise,” she said. “The longer these drag on the more I worry that they really materially weigh on consumer confidence, business confidence, and then start to work their way through actual activity in the economy.”

Reporting by Ann Saphir in San Francisco; Editing by Sandra Maler

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